NAPOWRIMO 2020 – Prompt 1

By on Mar 31, 2020 in Poetry

Green table and chairs by Alyce Wilson

April is National Poetry Writing Month, and many poets like to challenge themselves to write a poem a day. With that in mind, Wild Violet will be sharing poetry prompts each day: one geared towards adults and one for kids. 

If you write a poem based on this prompt, feel free to share a link to your poem, or the poem itself, in the comments. Poems appearing in the comments are not considered published in Wild Violet, and you retain all rights to your work.

 

Object Poem

For Adults:

Look outside yourself today. If it’s possible, you can look out your window or take a short nature walk. If not, take a walk around your surroundings. Examine the items in your space until you find something that inspires you. Does that old, cracked teapot speak to you? Worn work shoes? A shiny trophy, now topped with dust? Let that object lead your writing. Does it evoke a memory? Does it remind you of another person, place or thing? If it were alive, what might it think? What might another person think of it?

For an example, read “Fork” by Charles Simic.

 

For Children:

An object poem is told from the viewpoint of an everyday thing. We call this personification. Writing an object poem is a good way to use your imagination. Here are some tips on how to write your own.

Choose an object to write about. It could be something in front of you, something you see in a book, or something from your imagination. Write down some observations about that object, using the list below.

  • What are some words you would use to describe it?
  • What does it look like? (For example, the color, shape, size or texture)
  • What does it feel like? (For example, soft or smooth, squishy or hard)
  • What does it smell like or sound like? 
  • If it had a best friend, who or what would it be?
  • What does it like? What does it hate?
  • If it could say anything to a human, what would it say?

Then, take some of the information you wrote down and turn it into a poem, as if the object is speaking. Use the name of the object as the title. Here’s an example.

Cell Phone

All day long, I beep and ring.
My screen is smudged with fingerprints.
My pink, sparkly back is hard and sticky.
Everyone thinks I’m annoying,
but they don’t know how hard I work.
I wish that kid would stop poking me
and let me hang with my best friend, the charger.

 

About

Alyce Wilson is the editor of Wild Violet and in her copious spare time writes humor, non-fiction, fiction and poetry, keeps an online journal, and is working on a book, Belated Mommy: How to Cope With Being an Older Mom. Her first chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs; her e-book/pamphlet, Stay Out of the Bin! An Editor's Tips on Getting Published in Lit Mags ; her book of essays and columns, The Art of Life; and her humorous nonfiction ebook, Dedicated Idiocy: How Monty Python Fandom Changed My Life, can all be ordered from her Web site, AlyceWilson.com. In late 2019, she published a volume of poetry by her third great-grandfather, Reading's Physician Poet: Poems by Dr. James Meredith Mathews, which also contains genealogical information about the Mathews family. She lives with her husband and son in the Philadelphia area and takes far too many photos of her handsome, creative son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda.